Nature Strip won the Listed AR Creswick Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday afternoon, but a question mark remains over whether he will take a slot in The Everest.
Nature Strip, who went off as hot favourite, beat Order Of Command with 1-1/2 lengths to spare, with Egyptian Bullet a further 1-1/4 lengths away in third.
Trainer Darren Weir was happy with the win but the shrug of his shoulders after the race suggested he expected a little bit more.
"He looked to travel a bit strong and that's what probably took that bit off him late," Weir said.
"He'll come on from that because he had a really good gallop - he had to get after him a bit at the end to make him go and the last time he cruised through the line.
"He probably looked like he was going to explode away but when they over travel like he did it takes away the brilliance late - he had his ears flat back today.
"You can only win and we look forward to the future."
Weir said while a slot in the $13million The Everest was always an option, he was being realistic about taking one of the remaining slots that are up for grabs.
"I don't really know - there's two options, I think everyone's pretty keen to get him into The Everest so hopefully there's some slot holders there that might be interested in taking him on," Weir added.
"If that doesn't happen I guess it's map out a program for the spring."
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